The Turkish and Russian militaries have carried out the 12th round of joint patrols on the M4 highway in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
"The 12th round of Turkish-Russian joint land patrols have been conducted with the participation of land and air forces on the M4 in Idlib," the ministry said in a statement.
The M4 highway, also known as the Aleppo-al-Hasakah road, is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Turkey's southern border.
This March, Ankara and Moscow agreed on a protocol urging parties to "cease all military actions along the line of contact in the Idlib de-escalation area."
The protocol said joint Turkish-Russian patrols would begin on March 15 along the M4 highway from the settlement of Trumba, 2 kilometers to the west of Saraqib, to the settlement of Ain al-Havr.
In the last few years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have worked closely to try to resolve the nine-year conflict, proving that the unique dialogue between the two leaders may overcome the countries' differences in the end.
They managed to coordinate their interests by avoiding direct confrontation between their forces in Syria, even though Moscow has been backing the Bashar Assad regime while Ankara has supported opposition groups.
Idlib has long been under siege by the Assad regime's forces and its allies, and previous cease-fires for the region were plagued by violations.
Since April 2018, attacks on the last opposition stronghold have dramatically intensified and caused new waves of refugees to move toward the Turkish border, putting the country, which already hosts 3.7 million Syrians, into a difficult position.
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